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Lunar New Year celebration returning to Spokane

Spokane United We Stand
Spokane United We Stand

Spokane will have its first Lunar New Year Festival in nearly 90 years this weekend.

The city of Spokane was once home to a thriving Chinatown and hosted a popular Lunar New Year Festival. Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders today are hoping to recreate a version of that celebration, said chair of the event Vina Cathcart.

“We just want for everyone to come down and learn about the Lunar New Year, what it is if you don't know about it, and then just celebrate with us,” she said.

Cathcart says organizers plan to launch the year of the tiger with cultural dances, crafts and food trucks, as well as fireworks.

“The Lunar New Year's all about a time for renewal and reunions to occur,” she said. “After the past two years where I feel like everyone has been apart from each other, this is a unified event where everyone can come and celebrate the new year and just be thankful for everyone that we have.”

Cathcart said the event is open to everyone, and but says masks are required in indoor spaces. There will also be a vaccine clinic available during the event.

The Lunar New Year Celebration will run from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Riverfront Park.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.